Arm Fretting

“Do my arms look toned?” I asked my beloved over a late night dinner on a recent Saturday.
“Not particularly,” he replied – reminding me that honesty is not always the kindest policy.
“Do they look flabby?” I dared follow up.
“No, they don’t.”
‘Phew,’ I sighed.“As you get older, you don’t want to be too ripped or you start to look a little grizzled – like Madonna,” my husband concluded as he finished his martini.

I changed the subject.

I’m fit – but fat… technically obese by LA standards.  The chances of someone confusing my flippers with Madonna’s famously toned, beautiful arms is sadly laughable. Although my husband’s attempts to remove his foot from his mouth were amusing. Guess I get to keep all of the Madonna CDs if we ever split up.

But enough about Madonna… what about her arms and those of other middle aged women?

How should a well-toned middle aged arm look? Well, it depends from whence you ask. I’m in LA where 50 is the new 35 and toned arms are as ubiquitous as beautiful, blonde women. In LA, there is no limb that is chubby or imperfect – except a newborn’s. When I Googled ‘toned arms’ Michelle Obama’s image appeared almost immediately – as did a number of other women who are better looking and in better shape than I… despite our similar ages. And then there were the gorgeous, bared arms I saw at school drop off.

Sadly, I think it’s a universal truth that most 50 year-old arms look better than mine. But hey, at least my arm flesh doesn’t keep flapping when I stop moving. At least not yet. Aging – and gravity – are not for the weak.  And for now, for me, this will have to be enough.

My arms are strong – they lift the groceries I buy to feed my family, slather my kids with sunblock adroitly as they try to squirm away from me and protect them from their nightmares with a hug.

I continue to work out as I believe a body in motion breathes better and lives longerand doesn’t gain weight quite as quickly. Hopefully, with all of this activity, my arms will remain solid if not toned. And they look good enough to be shown in the sleeveless shirts this unusual and unending heatwave necessitates.

Sure, my arms will never look as good as the women who appear via Google, nor most of the moms I see around town, but I am going to work so that my arms look their best. Who knows, maybe some day someone will compare my arms to Madonna’s.

2 thoughts on “Arm Fretting

  1. Hunter says:

    I kind of side with your husband. Not in tone, mind you, but definitely in function. But rather than go off on a huge rant about self esteem or social superficiality, I’ll just say two words: Clint Eastwood. I’m not saying the guy isn’t handsome, or even fit for that matter, just that it looks like he is held together with Slim-Jims. Madonna too.
    You have it right, be fit enough to live an unencumbered life. Stay healthy, stay active. Leave toned arms for people with the metabolisms of humming birds and just know that when the next ice age rolls around they will be the first to go. Thoughts like that keep me going at any rate.

  2. HST says:

    I think your husband sounds thoughtless and a bit of a jerk. He should be more supportive of your efforts. I do agree that Madonna’s arm are gruesome though.

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